The Official Website of the Southeastern Conference
The Official Website of the Southeastern Conference

Barnhart's burning questions for Week 6

26 days ago
Tony Barnhart | SEC Network

As incredible as this sounds, on Saturday we will close out the month of October and set the table for what promises to be a November that we will all remember.

We have six games on Saturday featuring teams that are all over the map:

Florida (2-1) hasn't played in 21 days.

Texas A&M (3-1), whose only is loss to Alabama, is starting to get some love as a team that could run the table.

LSU (2-2) and Auburn (3-2) meet in a critical game at Jordan-Hare Stadium. Somebody will walk away from this game with their third loss.

Georgia (3-1) goes to Kentucky where the Bulldogs need a win to set up next week's showdown with Florida in Jacksonville.

Consider all of the above as your appetizer.

Here is your main course: Five Burning Questions about SEC football for Halloween, 2020.

Will LSU and Auburn play another close one?

Recent history says yes. The last four LSU-Auburn games have been decided by a grand total of 13 points. All were decided by five points or fewer.

Auburn won the 2016 meeting, 18-13. LSU won the next three by scores of 27-23, 22-21, and 23-20.

And remember last season when LSU went 15-0 and won the national championship? Only two of LSU's conference games were decided by fewer than 14 points.

Alabama lost to LSU 46-41 in Tuscaloosa.

The smallest margin of victory for LSU last season was against Auburn.

LSU won 23-20 in Baton Rouge.

So don't be shocked if this one stays close.

Should Georgia be on upset alert against Kentucky?

When Georgia began this season, the Bulldogs had an open date scheduled for Oct. 31. Georgia always requests an open date on the Saturday before the big game with Florida in Jacksonville. Instead, the SEC office began juggling games when Florida was hit hard by the COVID-19 virus. Now Georgia must travel to Lexington to play Kentucky (2-3), a team that was dominated by Missouri 20-10 last week. Over the years, Georgia has had some struggles in Lexington.

So how rusty will the Gators be when Missouri comes to The Swamp?

The last time Florida played, the Gators lost a tough one (41-38) at Texas A&M. But things actually got tougher after the trip back to Gainesville. The Gators were hit hard by COVID-19 and have had to sit out for two straight weeks.

Florida was supposed to have this week off before traveling to Jacksonville to play Georgia. Now they have to play a Missouri team that was most impressive last week, holding Kentucky to under 200 yards of offense in a 20-10 win.

Keep an eye on Missouri running back Larry Rountree III, who had 126 yards last week and needs just 55 against the Gators to become the school's all-time rusher at running back.

Can surprising Arkansas snap Texas A&M's eight-game winning streak against the Hogs?

It's going to be tough, but Arkansas has already surprised us a couple of times this season in beating Mississippi State and Ole Miss.

Remember that this game was supposed to be played at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, TX, where it has been since 2014. But after COVID-19 reduced the number of fans that would be allowed at the game, it was moved to Kyle Field.

Arkansas has had a week off since a 33-21 win over Ole Miss.

Record watch: Texas A&M quarterback Kellen Mond needs 267 yards of offense to pass Johnny Manziel's Aggie career record of 9,989 yards. With 10 additional yards, he could become the first Texas A&M player to surpass 10,000 yards of total offense in a career.

What should Alabama fans be looking for when the Crimson Tide host struggling Mississippi State?

Let's start with this. Alabama will play its first full game without mega-star wide receiver Jaylen Waddle, who was lost for the season with an ankle injury on the opening kickoff against Tennessee.

But recruiting quality depth is a big reason why the Crimson Tide are contenders year after year under Nick Saban.

Enter Slade Bolden, who took Waddle's place at the slot receiver and finished with six catches for 94 yards against the Volunteers. So the trio of Bolden, DeVonta Smith, and John Metchie III is easily one of the best group of receivers in the country.

It should be noted that Mississippi State has the best pass defense in the SEC, giving up only 192.3 yards per game.